Resting Regularly

So currently it is 12:55 A.M. and I am tired. I make poor choices on a regular basis when it comes to sleep. I willingly give up time for sleep to other things, usually hanging out with friends. I know this is a poor choice in that the rest of the day/week I feel the effects of not getting the appropriate amount of sleep.

Some effects include: lowered immune system, lowered attention span, lowered mental awareness.

Today’s passage is Matthew 11:25-30,

At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I believe the parallel of Physical sleep carries over to the Spiritual. We must regularly come to Christ for Spiritual “rest” so that we may be “sober minded” ready to the on the challenges ahead. Much like Jesus told the Women at the well, “Keep coming to me”. A continual process of restoration.

The Alternative of never finding rest in Christ regularly is the same as the Physical. Our defenses are lessened against the attacks of satan (Lowered immune system). It is harder for us to focus on God throughout the day and to hear what He has for us (lowered attention span). We are less aware of, not only spiritual attacks but, spiritual opportunities, as well (Lowered awareness). All-in-all lack of Spiritual rest leaves us in a vulnerable and ineffective place in the kingdom of God.

So how do we Rest in Christ? Great question! The answer is in verse 29!

“Take My yoke upon  you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

So here we are called to two different things for the purpose of finding rest in Christ.

  1. “Take my yoke upon you”. We are clearly called here to serve God and follow His lead even if we feel as cow do without complaint of the purpose of the work but trust in the Master to lead correctly.
  2. “and learn from me” We are called to learn from Christ! Much like Mary did when Martha was off cleaning and preparing for Christ. We are called to sit at the feet of Jesus, sometimes rejecting the culture norms for the purpose of a deeper relationship with Jesus.

So let us pursue regular rest as we go about our spiritual life. Not rejecting the Service or Instruction of the Lord in and through our lives. And let us rest confidently in the person of Jesus Christ and what He did for us, to God’s glory.

Reach out to your Rest,

Just a COG

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Are you smelly?

Do you remember the smell of your favorite baked good? Be it Cinnamon rolls, Oatmeal Raisin cookies, or brownies. Do you like homemade or do you have that special bakery that hits your spot? Are you a quantity or quality type person? Would you rather that bag of store bought cookies or would you rather one homemade lemon bar made by your Best Friend’s Grandmother?

It never ceases to amaze me how extreme people can get over baked goods. I can appreciate most baked goods however you so much as mention “oatmeal raisin” around some of my friends and “prepare for war”. It doesn’t even matter if it is just your taste they are up to debate you scientifically, philosophically, with signed confessions of 6 people why oatmeal raisin cookies are the worst ever.

I love the imagery Paul uses in His letter to the church in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

Here is the beauty of this. God has led us in Triumph by His Holy Spirit in Christ for the purpose of making us smelly with the Knowledge of God. God is like a baker who has taken us as unformed dough drying out in the world and formed us and molded us with the Hands of Christ, the Seasoning of the Holy Spirit, baked in the Fires of trials to be the Most Smelly baked Goods ever! WE MUST BE SMELLY!!

Here is the catch with all this. Pardon the parody but the Dough does not say to the Baker what to make of it. (Romans 9:20-21) And God may indeed make you into something which is pleasent and smells of “life leading to life” to some but to others you smell like “death leading to death”. Here is the key, regardless of response to the smell we are called to be smelly! A smell does not pick and choose who it approaches or who it wafts to, NO! A smell spreads from the source to whoever is nearby. The closer the person the more they receive the smell, which brings out two important points.

  1. Those closest to the smell should react either positively or negatively more than those far away. Those, whom you smell like death to, may reject you more so the closer you are to them (Family, friends, relatives). And those, whom you smell like life to, may come to the source more often than others.
  2. Who are we to deny the Smell of the Knowledge of God to someone? Their reaction is between them and God. Our call is to be smelly to whomever would open their nose to us.

So I encourage you to submit to God’s baking in your life and in every way go forth and Be Smelly! Spread the smell of the Knowledge of God! May news of our Great Baker spread across our communities, schools and workplaces!

Be Smelly!

Just a COG

 

 

Cookie Cred: Silo’s Bakery in Waco, TX